SDDA Divisions

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture is comprised of seven divisions. Please click a link below to learn more about each. Our mission is to promote, protect, preserve and improve South Dakota Agriculture for today and tomorrow.

Alphabetical Staff Directory

Office of the Secretary

Lucas Lentsch, Secretary of Agriculture
523 E Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501-3182
Phone: 605.773.5425
Fax: 605.773.5926
Office hours - 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Time

The Secretary of Agriculture is appointed by the Governor and is responsible for the development, implementation and oversight of agricultural policy within state government.

The Office of the Secretary facilitates:

  • Department Administration, Budget and Policy
  • Information Dissemination
  • Legislative Support

Staff Directory

Agricultural Development

Paul Kostboth, Division Director
523 E Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501-3182
Phone: 605.773.5436
Fax: 605.773.3481
Email: Office hours - 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Time

The Division of Agricultural Development assists with the development and promotion of agriculture and agricultural products in the state of South Dakota.

Division responsibilities includEmail:

  • Finance
  • Crop and Livestock Marketing
  • Business Development Programs

Staff Directory

Agricultural Services

Brandon Beshears, Division Director
523 E Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501-3182
Phone: 605.773.4027
Fax: 605.773.3481
Office hours - 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Time

The Division of Agricultural Services develops policy and legislation to ensure agricultural commodities will be eligible for export from South Dakota — protects the environmental and public health by effective enforcement of statutes and rules — and protects South Dakota producers and consumers of agricultural products from unsafe actions, product misrepresentation and unfair trade practices.

Three program offices comprise this Division: The Office of Agronomy Services, Office of Plant Industry, and the Office of Dairy and Egg.

To provide effective enforcement of statutes and rules, Agricultural Services ensures coordination and communication with producers, land owners/managers and agricultural business.

Division responsibilities includEmail:

Staff Directory

Tom Gere, Agronomy Services Manager / Fertilizer and Pesticide Specialist

LaDonna Holm, Inspection Services Manager

Scott Schelske, Dairy Plant Compliance Specialist

Brenda Sievers, Plant Industry Manager/Ag Inspector (Huron)


  • Bob Reiners, Apiary Specialist
  • Bruce Jacobson, Pesticide Product Registration and Groundwater, Land Application of Contaminated Soil Specialist
  • Bryan Tipton, Compliance & Enforcement Specialist
  • Charles King, Pesticide Container Recycling, Unusable Pesticide Disposal, Rodent Bait Manufacture Specialist
  • Dale Anderson, Plant Quarantine, Pest Survey
  • David Smith, Fertilizer and Soil Amendment Specialist
  • Gene Stegeman, Dairy Field Supervisor, State Egg Coordinator/State Dairy Lab Evaluation Officer (Brookings)
  • Heather Rogers, Ag Inspector (Aberdeen)
  • Jim Konechne, Ag Inspector (Rapid City)
  • Kari Carrillo, Ag Inspector (Huron)
  • Kim Otterness, Dairy Secretary / Lab Tech (Brookings)
  • Michael Blume, Commercial Feed, Animal Remedy Specialist
  • Mike Stenson, Weed & Pest Management Technician, Export Certification
  • Paul Anderson, Seed and Nursery Specialist (Sioux Falls)
  • Robert Endres, Ag Inspector (Mitchell)
  • Ron Moehring, Weed and Pest Control, Biocontrol, Weed-Free Forage Specialist
  • Sherrie Petersen, Ag Inspector (Mitchell)
  • Stephanie Silbernagel, Inspection Services Secretary
  • Tammy Harmon, Plant Industry Secretary
  • Tony Shumaker, State Dairy Survey Officer, Plant Compliance Specialist (Mitchell)
  • Valerie Mitchell, Pesticide Applicator Certification & Licensing Specialist
  • Virgil Sinning, Ag Inspector (Sioux Falls)
  • Vacant, Agronomy Secretary
  • Vacant, Pesticide Program Specialist, Sensitive Sites Registry
  • Vacant, Ag Inspector (Watertown)
  • Vacant, Agronomy Secretary

Resource Conservation & Forestry

Bill Smith, Division Director
523 E Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501-3182
Phone: 605.773.3623
Fax: 605.773.4003
Office hours - 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Time


Greg Josten, State Forester
3305 W. South Street
Rapid City, SD 57702
Phone: 605.394.2395
Fax: 605.394.2549
Office hours - 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time


The mission of the Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry is to conserve, protect, improve and develop the natural resources of South Dakota for its citizens.

Division responsibilities:

  • Resource Conservation
  • Community Forestry
  • Forest Health
  • Service Forestry Programs

Staff Directory

Wildland Fire

Jay Esperance, Division Director
4250 Fire Station Road
Rapid City, SD 57703
Phone: 605.393.8011
Fax: 605.393.8044

Office Hours - 8:00am - 5:00pm Mountain Time

The South Dakota Division of Wildland Fire (WFS) was created within the Department of Agriculture at the request of the Governor and with the approval of the State Legislature on July 1, 2001. The Division is responsible for protecting state and private lands within the Black Hills Forest Fire Protection District and other forested areas throughout the State.

Staff Directory

State Fair Park

Peggy Besch, State Fair Manager
890 3rd St. SW
Huron, SD 57350
Phone: 605.353.7340
Toll-Free in South Dakota: 800.529.0900
Fax: 605.353.7348
Office hours - 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Time

The first South Dakota State Fair was held September 29 through October 2, 1885. It moved around to various cities throughout South Dakota until making Huron a permanent home in 1905.

The State Fair Park Division works with the State Fair Advisory Commission, whose 13 members are appointed by the Governor, to plan and manage one of the biggest annual events in our state every year.

Division responsibilities include:

  • State Fair Planning & Management
  • Building Maintenance
  • Marketing & Events Coordination
  • Camping & Competitive Exhibits Coordination
  • State Fair Foundation Coordination
  • State Fair Advisory Commission Coordination

Staff Directory